Depression / Anxiety - Why Is This a Growing Issue in Australia?
It is alarming to see the number of people who have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Has this been a hidden thing that is now coming out into the open, or is this epidemic something new, caused by things that are happening in our modern society?
This is not an exhaustive list of possible causes. The goal of reading this is to start you on a journey of thinking differently about anxiety and depression. We have allowed many things to enter our families and our lives that have appeared good, but over time have been causing issues that are actually destroying us and causing us to suffer anxiety and depression. The sad thing is that there is very little difference between what is happening in the church and the secular society. I believe God is starting to open our eyes and to lead us to a new way of seeing the world and living.
When we read 1 Timothy 1:7 we read that God did not give us s spirit of fear (Anxiety / depression) but of power, love and a sound mind
In 1 Peter 5: 8 we read "Be clear-minded and alert. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." The thief (Satan) is a roaring lion which means that he is trying to scare us but like a roaring lion, he really has no power to hurt us unless we let him. In John 10:10 we read that Satan is a thief and is coming to kill, rob and destroy. This is what depression and anxiety are doing to us. So what are his tricks and how can we receive the life from Jesus as He promised?
Over the rest of this blog I will look briefly into 4 key things that Satan is using to destroy us and cause us to suffer from anxiety and depression. (And other issues!)
1. Computers, phones and electronic devices
There is a lot of research that is showing how electronic devices are destroying our brains. We are giving our children often unlimited access to mobile phones and are allowing them to play digital games that are causing havoc to our children's brains. Issues include the content we watch, the way digital media affects our relationships and the "hit" our brains get when engaging with social media, games and constant flicking between websites and small bites of information. Our modern way of interacting with the world through digital technologies needs to be examined. We must be very mindful not only about digital devices and how they are used, but what we use them for and the time we spend on them so we do not suffer anxiety and depression through using them.
The best resource is a book by Brad Huddleston titled "Digital Cocaine". If you would like to buy the book click HERE to see it on the Koorong website. I have put a video of Brad speaking in Australia. I would recommend that parents watched this before showing it to their children as he talks about some pretty graphic things in the second part of the video.
After much research, I am amazed at the massive effect that our western diet is having not only on our health, but our minds. We have been sold a lie by our government, the food companies and the media about what we eat and it is time that we first understood the history of our western food diet, what it does to us and how we can make a change with our diet so we can function, think and live as God intends. Not only is the modern diet causing weight issues, it is causing many of our chronic illnesses.
Instead of writing a lot here, please look at my other blogs on food. Have a look at the series "The Men Who Made Us Fat" by Jacques Peretti and start exploring the topic of food and how it affects mental, physical and spiritual health. I have put a short video below that shows you what could happen if you give up all man made sugar for a week.
For those interested, I have written a family unit based on That Sugar Film. Click HERE to watch the film ($3.99 on YouTube) Have a look at the film and it may open your eyes to what problems sugar is causing to our bodies. The unit looks at food from a Biblical perspective, using some things that Caroline Leaf has written in her book Think and Eat Yourself Smart. It is worth reading.
I was given some teaching on music by one of the families that I work with and I was quite sceptical at first. After watching what the history of music is and the impact it has on us as Christians I was shocked and also keen to no longer be controlled by the different aspects of music, but to be aware of how music affects the brain and how Satan uses music to trap us and lead us into depression and anxiety. It causes us to go to music to "fix" our problems, but in doing so it just makes things worse. The video below is a summary of what the 10 hour course teaches, and is a real eye opener to how music is controlling our bodies and brains. For the full 10 hour video course go to:
After years of watching more and more people being prescribed medications for all sorts of medical issues, I have found that this practice has not cured people of disease, but has instead covered over the symptoms. If you think about this deeply, you will understand that if the underlying problem is not being addressed, just the symptoms are being masked over. Sometimes this is not even done very well. Often the pills we are prescribed cause side effects that harm our body and even lead to the taking of more pills to counter the side effects of other medication. There is a place for our current medications, but there is a better way forward then using them as a quick fix.
It is time to stop just taking a bandaid approach to our health, but seeing if there is a different way it is important to find this.
Below is a video which is the first part of a three part series. Dr Chris Van Tulleken takes on a brave medical experiment where he looks at what is prescribed by doctors in a normal medical practice and works with patients to see if they can find a drug free alternative. The results are astounding. Click on the following link for episodes 2 of "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs).
What is the answer?
The answer is simple but very challenging and will take effort and commitment for the rest of your life. It does not come from starting to change what we do, but by renewing the way we see the world and think. Then we can change from the inside out. In Romans 12:2 we read:
Commit your life and this journey to God. Tell God you want to be aware of Satan's strategies to bring depression and anxiety into your life. Ask God to take you on a journey where he releases you from anything that is unhealthy and replaces it with what He has intended for your life so you would be fulfilled and functioning as He has designed you to function. Then step out in faith and see what God does in your life.
See and understand what is actually happening. I have given a small sample of what things Satan is using to cause us to be anxious and depressed. If you know Satan's strategies and how he is doing this, you are well down the track.
Know the truth in God's Word. What does God say and how is this different to what the world is saying. What do I believe the truth is and do I trust God and seek His Kingdom and lo live His way? Choose what you actually want for your life.
Take steps to renew your mind. See the world differently as you learn to think differently. Caroline Leaf has a 21 Day Detox where she teaches you to take a thought and to seek God over 21 days to turn the thought into a habit. Her 21 day course (You pay for a 6 or 12 month subscription) costs under $40 and each day she sends you a video to watch and activities to do that take 10 - 15 minutes a day. It takes 21 days to change your thinking and 60 days to change a habit. To access the course go to: https://21daybraindetox.com/
Thank God for the progress you have made and continue to seek Him for the truth.
Remember, this is a life journey. You will stumble at times but keep getting up, seeking God for truth and see Him transform you as you learn to renew your mind daily.